361 Coventry

Coventry City – The fight behind the Sky Blues’ return from exile
Pitch Publishing, £12.99
Reviewed by Neville Hadsley
From WSC 361, March 2017
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358 Spurs

by Martin Cloake and Alan Fisher
Pitch Publishing, £17.99
Reviewed by Nick Dorrington
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358 Bayern

by Uli Hesse
Yellow Jersey Press, £14.99
Reviewed by John Van Laer
From WSC 358, December 2016
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357 FearlessThe amazing underdog story of Leicester City, the greatest miracle 
in sports history
by Jonathan Northcroft
Headline, £20
Reviewed by Paul Rees
From WSC 357 November 2016

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The glut of books purporting to analyse Leicester City’s Premier League title triumph has been as inevitable as the 2015-16 domestic season was unpredictable. Relatively, Jonathan Northcroft, a widely respected football writer with the Sunday Times, has taken his time with Fearless.

357 HereWeGoEverton in the 1980s
by Simon Hart
De Coubertin Books, £18.99
Reviewed by Jamie Rainbow
From WSC 357 November 2016

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Simon Hart’s book consists of 13 in-depth interviews with many of the key figures that formed Everton’s great team of the 1980s. This period of footballing success for both Liverpool clubs coincided with a turbulent time when football provided a welcome release from the city’s acute economic and social problems. It’s a facile theory perhaps, but one grounded in reality and one the Everton players took at face value. It’s to Hart’s credit that he weaves a poignant narrative through these interviews without succumbing to undue sentimentality.

355 SumofPartsThe evolution of 
the perfect team
by Jon Keen
Mickle Press, £17.99
Reviewed by Derek Walmsley
From WSC 355 September 2016

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Reading fans have seen precious little silverware in their 145-year history, so their 2005-06 Championship campaign, where they amassed 106 points – a total which, if plans to increase Football League divisions from three to four come to fruition, may never be bettered – has acquired totemic status for supporters. Jon Keen, a founding member of the club’s supporters’ trust, uses that season to survey a crucial chapter in the club’s recent history, running from the 1999 appointment of manager Alan Pardew to his successor Steve Coppell’s departure ten years later, and ponders how an unfashionable provincial team with few stars came to dominate the second flight of English football.

352 EibarThe extraordinary rise of La Liga’s smallest team
by Euan McTear
Pitch Publishing, £9.99
Reviewed by Phil Ball
From WSC 352 June 2016

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The Eibar story is de facto a wonderful one, easy pickings for a half-decent author. Euan McTear, an ardent young blogger now resident in Belfast, had dabbled with journalism in Scotland and then spent time in Barcelona, using his residency there as the springboard for documenting Eibar’s maiden season in Spain’s top flight. McTear goes on to demonstrate with unbridled affection the vicissitudes of his adopted club’s foray into the limelight, and although the book was published with somewhat indecent haste (three months after the conclusion of the 2014-15 season), the rookie author comes over as genuine.

350 CrazyThe true inside 
story of football’s 
greatest miracle
by Dave Bassett 
and Wally Downes
Bantam Press, £18.99
Reviewed by Shane Simpson
From WSC 350 April 2016

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Dave Bassett, and co-author Wally Downes, make it clear that this book has been written in response to those involved in the BT Sport documentary The Crazy Gang, who Bassett feels “had not done their homework on the years before the 1988 Cup final… [having] an agenda whereby they wanted to sensationalise some of the stories that Vinnie and Fash had, and made them the centre of attention when the film was released”.

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